“Good omen,” Lisicki said.
“Obviously,” she said, “I went into the match feeling that I could win.”
Lisicki might have been the only person who felt that way. After all, Williams owns 16 major championships, and entering Monday, the 31-year-old American had won 46 of 48 matches this season, and 77 of 80 since the start of Wimbledon in 2012.
“You cannot be perfect, every match, all year,” said Patrick Mouratoglou, the French coach who began working with Williams last year. “She won 34 matches in a row. It has to stop one day. It has to happen. And it happened today.”
The inevitability of failure, even for the most successful player, has never been made clearer than during this tournament. This was only the first day of the fortnight’s second week, yet Williams joined quite a list of those already gone: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka and Sharapova — all major title winners, all former No. 1s, all out by the end of Day 3.
“This,” summed up 17th-seeded Sloane Stephens, “has been a crazy Wimbledon.”